Tools to Make Your Own Website & Social Media Images

2 comments

No one would ever accuse me of being a graphic artist. In fact, outside of cropping and resizing photos, it took me nearly 10 years to figure out the basics of creating and editing images.

And it’s embarrassing to admit, but have often arranged my images in a PowerPoint slide because I don’t understand all the features of my photo editor. Then I simply take screenshots of what I’ve created. The horror!

But you know what? It gets the job done.

I used to hire out to get all my images done and that works, but it’s a slow process. But now when I get an idea for an image that I want to use right away, I can do it immediately. I am using images more and more with effective results and it’s one of the reasons I wrote last week’s post.

If you want to create your own images, let’s look at some tools that are available to you…

Tools for Your Computer

I personally use Adobe Photoshop Elements (it’s a much cheaper, but still reasonably powerful version of PowerPoint), but there are other very similar tools available online as well. You can see some in the slide show below.

One of the most popular tools for online business owners is GIMP…and it’s actually free. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it is probably the #1 free alternative to Photoshop. I personally don’t feel like it takes good quality screenshots, but for other graphics, it gets the job done and others seems to like it a lot.

Making Social Media Graphics

Nicole Dean and Melissa Ingold recently released a cool tool called Social Graphics Pro that I’ve been using a lot lately (it has eliminated the need for me to create graphics in PowerPoint and then take screenshots!). Here is a thumbnail of some of the images I created very easily with this software. You can also use it to create Facebook cover photos, timeline coupons, Facebook ads and a whole bunch more.

Social Graphics Pro Example

I’ll actually being creating a little tutorial for the software soon, but in the meantime, I do recommend checking it out. It makes it super easy to make cool images.

Got an iPad?

I’ve been playing around with FrameArtist+ that Lynette Chandler recommended. It’s a very fun and straightforward to program that allows you to use attractive templates or create your own. It’s easy to insert images, add text, colors, backgrounds and more.

Here’s a quick peek at the app:

Here’s an image I recently created:

Home Remedies

The only problem with this app is that I have most of my images on my computer, but because I have automated backups done through SugarSync, I can use the SugarSync app to grab the photos and add them to my Camera Roll. It’s an extra step, but when I’m lounging on the couch or in the backyard, it’s awesome to be able to do this on the iPad.

What tool you use may take some experimentation and getting comfortable with what works for you. If you have your favorite and it wasn’t listed in this post, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Need More Help with Using Images in Your Content?

Check out Kelly’s Image Monthly - she and her publishing partner, Angel, have great advice for finding images, creating them and incorporating them into your into your content. They’ve even thrown in some images, backgrounds and inspirational quotes too. Check it out here.

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About the Author

Alice Seba
Alice Seba is the owner and creator of Contentrix.com. With a focus on using content to create relationships, loyalty and results from writing, she loves helping online business owners get more bang out of their content.

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  • Ken

    Hi Alice, I have been working hard putting up my first blog and interestingly enough I have struggled a lot creating my first header.I know people tell you to outsource the header graphic ,but, you know what, I felt I had to have a go. Finally I came across a very good piece of software that in my honest opinion should be amongst your top 10
    because of its low price and ease of use. I am referring to real Draw Pro. Here, is the header I created with this tool for your perusal :www.kenneth-harrison.com. I didn´t come up with the tagline out of thin air and how I concocted this will be the subject of one of my posts. I know people say that the content is important and the header can wait but I always think that when you have guests coming to your home you always aim to be your best and I try to think of my blog as a home of sorts and that is why I wanted my header to look professional before putting up lots of content.
    A related question Alice: I plan to use a lot of illustrated content and slides in my blog some I will create myself and some I will purchase from your site. Now, how do you tackle updating illustrations to your illustrated content? I am asking this because technology moves so fast that using illustrated content to illustrate a post runs the risk of being out of date fast. I worry about having a blog full of outdated illustrations
    that need continuous replacing. I will be grateful for your thoughts on this matter. With thanks for all your kind help and enthusiasm. Ken.

    • http://contentrix.com Alice Seba

      Hi Ken…is this the product you’re talking about? http://www.mediachance.com/realdraw/ It’s certainly reasonably priced for what it says it does. Good find.

      For the screenshots, I hear you. It’s true that a lot of this stuff can go out of date because software is upgraded, policies change and procedures are updated. I think the best thing to do is to date your content when it’s time sensitive. A few years ago, many people (including me) often removed the date stamp from WordPress content because we didn’t want search engines to think that the content was old and out of date because a lot of content is evergreen. I actually have been meaning to go back and put the dates back in, so this is a good reminder. As the Internet ages and there is so much more outdated content, we have a responsibility to inform our readers and I think that date stamping content can go a long way. Also, as Internet users become more sophisticated, they look for things like the date to determine validity of content. If you read any advice on finding reliable sources of information on the net, people always advise to look for a date.

      But outside of that, I think it’s easy for me to say keep track of your content and update it when there are updates…but as someone who has been publishing for 10 years, that is just not realistic to expect us to keep tabs on absolutely everything. However, for content you expect might go out of date, you can put a little disclaimer that your current is “accurate as of XX”, but is “subject to change”. For the content you do update, you can also include notes on what you updated and when. Overall, it will show you as a credible and reliable source and people will come to understand that some of your content is accurate at the time of publishing.

      I hope that helps and thanks for the great question. Definitely gives me food for thought.

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